Saturday, December 28, 2013

Temple Writing in Burma 2014

Making a wish at the feet of the Buddha, Ananda Pagoda, Bagan

A 12 day Writing Journey                Feb 12 -23, 2014                Bookings are now closed

View clip from last years Burma journey here.

Arrive in Mandalay, spend a day sight seeing, attend the Irrawaddy Literary Festival, then travel by river boat to the plain of temples in Bagan for a five day writing retreat with writing tutor Jan Cornall.

The Festival
The Irrawaddy Literary Festival 2014 will be held in the grounds of the magnificent Kuthodaw Pagoda in Mandalay. The world’s largest book, inscribed on 729 white marble tablets, dots the the spacious grounds of the Pagoda, which was recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Set within shaded avenues, bordered with fragrant starflower trees, the compound is the perfect backdrop to the Festival’s eclectic programme of events.
Aung San Suu Kyi, Tan Twan Eng, Louis de Bernieres,  Pascal Khoo Thwe, Caroline Moorehead, Dame Joan Bakewell, Martha Kearney, Fergal Keane, Jung Chang,  Rupert Arrowsmith, Caroline Courtauld, over 100 Burmese writers and many more.

The Retreat
The day after the festival we travel by river boat along the Irrawaddy River to the ancient city of Bagan, taking our inspiration from the sweep of eleventh century temples at our doorstep. Morning workshops are conducted at our hotel as we spend the afternoons exploring the temples, with a day trip to Mt Popa, home of the Nat Spirits. In the early evenings we have readings followed by dinner at local restaurants and take a sunset cruise on our last day.  Stay on longer to explore more of Burma on your own itinerary. Read about last year's festival here.

The Writing
We begin the conversation about our writing from the minute we meet in Mandalay. Writing tasks will be given each day of the festival and workshops begin in earnest on our river trip to Bagan. Morning workshops in Bagan give you an opportunity to read and receive feedback on your work as well as brainstorm and trouble shoot difficult areas. Meditative and mapping techniques will used to bring clarity and energy into the words on the page. Elements of craft such as voice, setting, character, story, structure will be revised using sensing methods to evoke powerful writing. Goal setting and timetabling will ensure you have a plan for achieving future draft completion.All genres, all levels of experience welcome.

Feb 12: Arrive Mandalay (fly direct from Oz via Bangkok with Thai Airlines)
Feb 13:  Sight seeing in Mandalay, notable temples and the famous U Bein teak bridge.
Feb 14: Irrawaddy Festival at Kuthodaw Pagoda.
Feb 15: Irrawaddy Festival at Kuthodaw Pagoda.
Feb 16: Irrawaddy Festival Kuthodaw Pagoda.
Feb 17: Travel by river to Bagan. Workshop on board. Check into Bagan accom.
Feb 18 – 22: Bagan retreat. Morning workshops, afternoon temple excursions, evening readings, dinners in local restaurants, attend the local full moon festival.
Feb 23: Depart on international flights or continue on own itinerary.

More pics here
View YouTube clip here.

About your tutor 
Jan Cornall is a writer and performer based in Sydney. Awarded a number of grants and fellowships and has written fifteen produced plays and musicals, a feature film, a novel, short stories and three CD’s of songs. With a strong interest in Asia, Jan began collaborating with Indonesian, writers, musicians and artists during her Asialink residency in Jakarta in 2006. She has taken part in festivals in the region including: Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Utan Kayu Biennale, Hong Kong International Literary Festival, Darwin Wordstorm and Irrawaddy Literary Festival. Jan mentors writers and leads annual writers retreats and workshops in  Bali, Fiji , Laos, Morocco, Burma, Vietnam. Find out more here.